oa Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary - The emergence of relevance theory as a theoretical framework for Bible translation

Volume 4, Issue 09
  • ISSN : 1996-8167



Ernst-August Gutt sparked a massive debate amongst Bible translation theorists and practitioners when he proposed that the communication theory known as relevance theory offers the best framework for understanding the phenomenon of translation. His work challenged the prevailing views of Eugene Nida and caused a divide amongst translators, some supporting a relevance theoretical approach and others criticising it.The purpose of this article is to present a brief history of Bible translation theory, culminating in emergence of relevance theory in the 1990s as a proposed theoretical framework for Bible translation. The article will descriptionbe how relevance theory emerged as a theoretical construct for translation, offer a brief synopsis of major areas of research into the application of relevance theory to translation, and conclude by identifying a few areas requiring further research and reflection.

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